The Soup Club, Chicken Minestrone

Mothers everywhere unite! This one is for you — but make no mistake, you can keep looking anyway cause the soup is pretty awesome and the idea behind the story is completely doable in a kid-free environment- it isn’t just kids who like soup for lunch. 

I pack my daughter lunch nearly every day. I cook it, of course, and it is challenging, no doubt. There is one thing I know she will eat almost all the time: soup. It cannot be the same soup though because she gets bored. My bandwidth for soup-making, however, is limited. 

This is how Wa-Sup was born, a group of friends, moms, and cooks. I sent a message to five friends with children of my daughter’s age, all of whom really know their way around the kitchen. My friends went along with the idea of meeting once a month and swapping homemade soups packed neatly in 12 ounce bpa-free containers that work in the freezer, the microwave, and the dishwasher. Drinks, apps, and conversation are a great bonus.

Four months later, I love this group more than any club, group, or gathering that I have ever been a part of. That hour at my house, drinking Lillet, talking and laughing with my friends is even better than being sure the little one gets her soup.  

These women make me smile and inspire me in so many ways so let me shout it out to them: thank you

I made this chicken meatball minestrone with homemade parmesan broth for this group. I loved it and I know so will you. 

Chicken Meatball Minestrone, a modified Bon Appetit recipe. 

Ingredients: 6 ounces ground chicken; 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs; 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, divided, plus more for garnish; 4 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 2 thinly sliced; 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives; 1 large egg, whisked to blend; kosher salt and freshly ground pepper; 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds; 5 cups homemade parmesan broth; 3/4 cup ditalini or other small pasta; 1 cup 1/2-inch rounds peeled carrots; 1 cup peeled asparagus, cut into 1 inch sticks; 1 cup (packed) baby spinach; chopped fresh basil. 

Mix chicken, breadcrumbs, 3 Tbsp. parmesan, 2 minced garlic cloves, chives, egg, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl. Form small meatballs, about 1/2-inch-diameter. 

Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden all over, about 3 minutes (they will finish cooking in soup). Remove from pot and set aside.

Add leek to pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook for 1 minute. Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and carrots; simmer until pasta is almost al dente, about 8 minutes. Add meatballs and asparagus and simmer until pasta is al dente, carrots and asparagus is tender, and meatballs are cooked through – about 3 minutes.

Add spinach and remaining 3 tablespoons parmesan-  stir until spinach is wilted and parmesan is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped basil and parmesan and share the love with the kids, your friends or whoever else in your life earns it. 

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